Genesis is a book about many beginnings. The beginnings of the world, the human race, sin and redemption, and the nation of Israel to name a few. In fact, the word Genesis from the Greek means “origin,” and in Hebrew it means “beginning.” The book of Genesis contains the events of the flood, tower of Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the lives of the Patriarchs.
In the beginning, God created everything by simply speaking, “God said…and it was so” (Genesis 1:6-7, 9, 11, 14-15). This is not a scientific technical account of creation, but it shows a loving God creating a universe and mankind to rule it and fellowship with God. Man was formed especially from the ground and given the breath of life from God. The woman was made from the man’s rib (Genesis 2:7).
After man fell into sin, things began to spin out of control quickly. Cain murdered his brother Abel and the human race became so violent that God decided to destroy them all with a flood. God saved one righteous man (Noah) and his family in an ark filled with animals to deliver the human race from extinction. God chose Abraham and blessed a special group of people named “Israel.” God began to unfold a plan of salvation from a coming famine by sending Joseph to rule in Egypt. The failure of man in every circumstance is met by the salvation of God. We fail, but the good news is God saves us.
In chapter 10, the flood account is over and the descendants of Noah are repopulating the earth as God instructed them to “be fruitful and multiply.” From Noah’s three sons, all the nations of the world were established. For instance, from the seven sons of Japheth, the Gentile nations descended. This chapter is sometimes called the Table of Nations. It is arranged in three divisions according to the three sons of Noah. It is a list of major people groups, tribes, and regions. This list does not cover all the nations of the earth, only the most relevant for biblical history and most relevant to Israel. There is a total of seventy descendants listed for Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Noah’s sons). From these seventy, we have approximately three thousand languages and one hundred fifty nations today.